Q. Where do you meet with clients?

A. We can meet virtually over Skype, or phone or in person.  The physical address is 2800 Wyngate Drive Atlanta GA 30305.  It is off of West Wesley Road in Buckhead. Please visit the Contact page for a map. Also, please note the street address is spelled with a "y".  GPS will take you to the wrong place if spelled incorrectly. 



Q. How many hours do you typically work with a student?

A.  This depends entirely on the needs of the student.  Some students want to work with me once a week during the peak of the admissions season, others need far less time than that.  It all depends on what the student needs to accomplish. For students who are working with me through an entire application process, I often set up weekly or biweekly appointments during the application season. For example, high school seniors applying to college might work with me from August through December. I can also do one- or two-time sessions for some clients as needed. The timeline is completely flexible based on the client's needs. 

Q. My teenager is awfully busy with extracurricular activities-–how can we squeeze this in?

A. I will make every effort to accommodate their schedule.  Most students see me after school.  Some students are able to combine a free period with lunch and either come to my office or work with me over Skype.  We can make it work.  

Q. What if I’m not even sure if my student will have the opportunity to have a college interview?

A. Even if the college does not provide on-campus interviews, normally they will provide the ability to have an alumni interview in the home town.  And of course there are the fall visits that most colleges make to local high schools.  In almost all cases, this interview helps the student. It is easier for a college to turn down a file than a person. The interview will humanize the student in the file. Additionally, this training will prove useful when it comes time to interview for internships and summer jobs--yet another reason your student should always seize the opportunity.  Interview training is never time wasted.

Q. Your brochure indicates that brainstorming ideas for college essays often comes about during the process of preparing for interviews. How does that work?

A. The types of questions the students are asked during the interview are very similar to the types of essay questions they are working on. Most of these kids haven’t yet had much opportunity for self-reflection. While preparing for the interviews, there are often marvelous “aha” moments where the student has an epiphany about him or herself that invokes an insight that was not previously there. I will bring this moment to their attention and suggest that we do a “brain spill” about the topic. We get some very specific ideas down on paper that then allows them to go home and expand upon the theme. When we reconvene during the next session, most students tell me that the writing process became much easier. For students who are working with me for their entire application process, I use a creative interview technique with your child in order to come up with the most powerful essay topics. Then, we work together to craft an essay that shows their personality and passion. 

Q. What kind of feedback do you give the parents?

A. Depending on the comfort level of the child, we will sometimes invite the parent in towards the end of a session to talk about what we have accomplished. If the student is reluctant to have the parent in attendance during any part of the session, I will always call you to debrief about their progress. Parent opinions are of course heavily considered as we go through the application process. For example, at the beginning of the application process,  I often have parents give us "parameters" for schools to apply to as we brainstorm based on location, tuition, etc. Also, at the end of each session I send the student an email describing (1) what we accomplished and (2) what preparations they need to do for the following session.  You will always receive a copy of these notes. 

Q. How soon do I need to sign up?

A. While I work with various types of clients throughout the year, there are important times of the year to keep in mind...

College Applications:  If you are preparing for the college application process, it is important to sign up as early as possible. I find that for students applying to the most prestigious schools, the earlier we begin to meet the better.  There is a great deal of strategizing that can happen even as early as Freshman and Sophomore years that can benefit the student.  We often begin our work over the summer before senior year where our goal is to knock out the Common App Essay by August 1st.  Then the majority of our work will happen between August and December of Senior year (working on the applications and supplemental essays), and the interviews will be throughout January and February.

 

Private school hopefuls:  should meet with me for the first time in mid-fall so that we can work together in December and early January to prepare for mid-January interviews.

 

Job Seekers: I work with clients seeking jobs and internships throughout the year, but the best time for current college students to contact me is around November or December so that they can prepare for summer internship deadlines and interviews, which often fall in January. 

 

Q. We live pretty far away from you or my child is in college out of state. How can we set up an appointment with you?

I work with clients over Skype frequently and find it to be a great way to meet if we can't meet in person. It's also a useful exercise because some job interviews are now done over Skype, so sometimes I work with clients over Skype to practice specifically for those interviews! 

Member of the

National Association

for College Admission Counseling

 

 

 

Ready to get

an Edge?

We would love to hear from you!

Monica James, Founder

2800 Wyngate Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

(404) 352 - 9442 / monicajames@comcast.net